Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Monday, 27 March 2017 15:00

February Poems 2017

1.

June is a memory in November

As I remember the roses and the

Lilacs blooming and the persistence of

The rain the fresh air and the insistence

 

Of the sun coaxing the season of growth

Along and all the leaves are pristine the

Birds are melodious with the dawn and

The roots of the grass are absorbing the

 

Rain but now a bitter wind surges through

The trees that stand starkly bare a frosting

Has hardened the ground and the night has grown

Wings and is overshadowing daylight

 

But none of it matters to me because

Your ebullience overcomes the darkness.

 

The overcast sky

in November is glowing

because the sun is

always dispensing light and

every day you’re radiant.

 

2.

There are moments of awakening that

Aren’t altogether enjoyable in

The winter months of Minnesota and

When walking on the asphalt or concrete

 

After a drizzling that froze into

An almost invisible layer of

Ice we learn to look for a glint of light

Reflecting off the walkway because a

 

Second’s carelessness leads to a quirky

Jerk to discombobulation to an

Impactful connection with a very

Hard surface after which we’re completely

 

Awake realizing penetrating

Insight into the quality of now.

 

Because I’m spry I

jerk discombobulate but

sometimes I’m able

to catch myself before the

fall discovering balance.

 

3.

Circumstances coordinate outcomes

Not always to my satisfaction as

I encountered the invisible ice

While driving down a sloping street and if

 

Only I hadn’t tried to turn I’d have

Been OK but I did and the car slid

As my frantic gestures with the steering

Wheel were operatic but quite useless

 

So I smacked into a parked car leaving

Minor damage on both vehicles and

Though it’s not catastrophic I’d rather

Have nothing to regret but that’s life as

 

Once in a while I fall through a trap door

Of an uncontrollable circumstance.

 

The spitting freezing

rain is no excuse said the

insurance agent

as the fact remains I lost

control of the vehicle.

 

4.

Like a basset hound with droopy skin and

Ears baying so mournfully at the moon

And disturbing my sleep I’ve tossed about

With worry and during the day the hound

 

Gets his teeth into a rag and won’t let

Go no matter how I pull to free myself

From cogitating over offensive

Words and it’s useless to ruminate with

 

Sad eyes with my hound’s head between outstretched

Paws on the floor because wherever my

Thoughts go my paws are sure to follow so

I’ve learned to throw the dog a bone to let

 

Myself chew joyfully on projects that

Channel enthusiastic energy.

 

When I’m searching for

the appropriate words and

images to fit

an emerging line of thought

I don’t know my tail’s wagging.

 

5.

The Jogging Birder

I was jogging,

and the push had

given up,

was hanging onto my heels

and croaking like a frog,

and while I was begging the uphill

to pull me

to greater heights

(where near the crest

I could see a grassy bank

that looked more and more

like a bench)

over the hill flew a

tall, bald,

beaky and goggled biker

with shoulders hunched and arms

akimbo — buzzard

on bicycle wheels —

and a bubble of laughter

lifted me,

carried me over the hill

headed for home.

Bev Bonn Jonnes

Monday, 27 March 2017 14:22

Editorial

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

The Story of Dino Casali

Editor’s Note: Dino Casali was a long-time subscriber and supporter of The St. Croix Review. He died several months ago at the age of 87. This biography was sent to The St. Croix Review by Dino’s friend Thomas F. Wall who wrote: “I enclose a short biography of Dino’s life prepared, by his home city’s Torrington [Connecticut] Historical Society, which is most inspiring and shows how many older U.S. citizens accomplished so much in the old-fashioned way of working for it.”

 

Thomas Wall writes of Dino Casali: “He had a distinguished career, although his quiet demeanor would not indicate this. He made a deep impression on me.”

 

It is the mission of The St. Croix Review to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit of Living in a Good, Great, and Growing Nation as Free Individuals. The writers — and the subscribers — of The St. Croix Review cherish our American freedoms and we are ingenious and industrious people who are capable of solving whatever difficulties we encounter. We find strength in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in our faiths.

 

The bond that holds America together is a belief that ordinary people of whatever ethnicity or faith can accomplish extraordinary feats as long as American freedom is preserved. To preserve America as the land of opportunity it is necessary to oppose and reverse the growth of the federal government, including the onerous bureaucratic regulations of the various agencies, intended to render individuals subservient to the state.

 

America was founded as a nation of immigrants who arrived in America legally, who wanted to become Americans, and who were willing to play by the rules. That Dino Casali was a long-time subscriber to The St. Croix Review was not an accident — his story embodies the ethos we promote. Indeed, Dino Casali’s father immigrated to America from Italy, just as my father, Angus MacDonald, came to America from Australia following W.W. II — Angus founded The St. Croix Review in 1968.

 

Immigrants who come to America, and who want to become American, are able to see America with fresh eyes — they are able to appreciate this nation as a land of opportunity — because they can compare America to wherever they came from.

 

I would never have learned of Dino Casali’s story if his friend Thomas Wall hadn’t sent me Dino’s biography. I’m grateful for Thomas Wall and for the Torrington Historical Society. And I’m grateful for all of the subscribers of The St. Croix Review. I haven’t been able to meet very many of you — though I have been typing your names over and over again in thank you notes year after year. I suspect we all have much in common.

 

If you, the subscribers to The St. Croix Review, would send us memoirs or biographies we will reserve a place for you within our pages — we’d like to foster a sense of community among us.   —Barry MacDonald

 

Carlo Casali emigrated to the U.S. in 1907 after hearing stories of great opportunity there. Upon his arrival in 1907, he was refused admission because of a hernia. He returned to Italy, had the hernia corrected and promptly returned to the U.S. [and was admitted into America].

He had to return to Italy in 1914 because of World War I.

After arriving in Italy in 1914, he married and established a family. Carlo Casali and Giovanna Guarnieri Casali were born in the province of Piacenza, Commune (town) of Mofasso in 1885 and 1890, respectively. Morfasso at that time had a population of about 3,000, now about 6,000. They were married in Morfasso on February 13, 1915 and made their home in a section of Morfasso called Sperongia. They farmed the land in an area owned by Carlo called Brandolino. To this day, the heirs may still own the title to this property, but they have allowed their relatives to occupy the property, farm it, and probably have title to it.

One night while sleeping in their home with their two children, August and Domenica (Mae), [Carlo and Giovanna] were frightened by a loud crack in the walls (which was a continuing problem). An investigation determined that the house was unsafe. Having had a favorable experience in the U.S. during his 1907-1914 residence, Carlo decided to return with the objective of paying off debts accumulated in the building of the house which was now a big liability. He, therefore, decided to return to the U.S. in 1919. From 1919 to 1928, he worked in the construction industry and worked for Perini Bros. in Framingham, Massachusetts, for about seven years. He was able to earn enough to pay his debts in Italy and move Giovanna and the two children to the U.S. in 1928. They rented a home on Laurel Hill in Torrington, Connecticut, where Dino was born in 1929. Then in a typical display of courage and confidence for the future, Carlo built a large two-family house at 250 Hillside Avenue in 1932, at the depth of the Great Depression. It was a struggle to maintain the house and provide for his family, but Carlo and Giovanna lived there until their deaths in 1950 and 1974, respectively. His search for permanence was completed on Hillside Avenue but not until the children, August and Mae, were required to leave school at early ages, of necessity, to work and contribute vitally to insure that the house would not be lost. The home is now owned by Carlo and Giovanna’s grandson, Alfred Bonvicini.

Dino went to the East School grammar school (now the Glass Building) where his classmate was his future wife, Corinne Zoli. Starting at age seven he delivered the Torrington Register six days per week door to door to the residents of Hillside Avenue. This early experience of dealing personally with customers, keeping track of their payments and paying the Torrington Register weekly for his newspapers introduced him to the basics of business and laid the foundation for future business achievements. At age fifteen he got a break that would forever change his life. He was hired by Fahnestock & Co. (now Oppenheimer & Co.) by Bob Bligh, manager of the Torrington office and future mentor, as an office boy. His duties varied from marking a blackboard holding 120 stock abbreviations, whose price changes he had to mark with every quarter point change (no computers) to washing and waxing the floor every Friday afternoon. However, in this environment he became fascinated with the stock brokerage business and he decided rather quickly that his life work would be dedicated to this business, a decision that he has never regretted.

Having saved his earnings, and, encouraged by his family and Bob Bligh and his wife, Alice, he was admitted as a freshman to the School of Commerce and Finance of New York University in 1947. He went to daily class from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and walked the ten blocks to the Loft’s Candies store off Union Square where he worked from 2 p.m. Because of this grueling schedule, and because NYU had no dormitories, he enrolled at Babson College in 1949, and was graduated in 1951. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force (during the Korean War) and served until February 1956. On March 5, 1956, he started work (thanks to Bob Bligh’s influence and efforts) with the New York office of Fahnestock & Co. as a security analyst. He learned about the securities industry in depth, but he yearned to be back in Torrington with his new family (he married his childhood classmate, Corinne Zoli on April 30, 1955, and their first child, David, was born on July 26, 1956). They eventually had three more children: Paul, Dina, and Carla. With Bob Bligh’s encouragement, and subsequent help, he made the move [to Torrington] and has never experienced any doubts. As proof of this, not counting his high school employment with Fahnestock, he has, as of March 5, 2014, been continuously employed by one company: Oppenheimer and its predecessor Fahnestock for 58 years. Upon his discharge from the Air Force, he realized that he was eligible under the GI Bill for further education and proceeded to enroll at NYU for the MBA program and completed the requirements in 1961. In accomplishing this feat, he drove to New York from Torrington three nights a week for classes and made a late night return to Torrington, all while working full time for Fahnestock.

Looking back on his 84 years of life, as the sole surviving member of his original Casali family, with appreciation and gratitude for his parents’ dedication and sacrifice, it is evident that whatever success Dino has had in life can be largely attributed to his parents. Their courage in starting a new life in a foreign land with a different culture and customs, with a strange language, in successfully confronting unforeseen challenges and financial difficulties, inspired in Dino an indestructible faith of optimism and confidence for the future.     *

Monday, 27 March 2017 14:20

Summary for February 2017

The following is a summary of the February/March 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

In introducing “The Story of Dino Casali,” a biography of a long-time subscriber of The St. Croix Review, Barry MacDonald points to American liberty as the foundation of the American dream.  

Allan Brownfeld, in “America Is Exceptional — But Now There Is an Effort to Make It Ordinary,” presents historical visions of American Exceptionalism and questions whether the Trump Administration has gone astray; in “The Strange Assault on Thomas Jefferson at the University He Founded,” he describes the disparagement of Thomas Jefferson by campus progressives who judge historical figures by present-day standards; in “Thomas Sowell Ends His Column, But His Intellectual Legacy Will Only Grow,” he presents a sample of Sowell’s excellent scholarship on the correlation of race, behavior, and economic success, using international data; in “Washington Once Again Shows Us That ‘Congressional Ethics’ Is an Oxymoron,” reveals the first action taken by House Republicans was to eliminate an office that investigates ethics.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Obama’s Shocking Historically Weak Economic Performance,” sizes up the former president’s overall performance; in “President Obama’s Parting Economic Shots,” he faults his removal of millions of acres from energy use, and his taking of millions of acres as a national monument; in “A Salute to Thomas Sowell,” he congratulates a “brilliant economist, erudite scholar, prolific and wide-ranging author”; in “Why Bashing the MSM Is a Win-Win for Trump,” he applauds President Trump’s feisty approach to the media; in “Six Surefire Ways Trump Can Unleash the American Economic Machine,” he identifies stupid government policies and points to solutions; in “Trump on Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” he reveals where our new president’s policies are counterproductive.

Paul Kengor, in “Rating the Presidents — and Obama,” he struggles to explain President Obama’s high ranking in a C-SPAN survey of presidential scholars; in “Women’s Marchers, Unite,” he reveals the hard-left sponsors of the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January, including the Communist Party USA and the notorious Angela Davis; in “Barack Obama’s Fundamental Transformation,” he writes that President Obama succeeded in revolutionizing sexual orientation, gender, and family issues in America; in “George W. Bush: Deadlier Than Stalin? Our Profound Ignorance of the Crimes of Communism,” he documents American ignorance of and the failure of our schools and universities to teach the murderous history of Communism; in “Remembering Two Christian College Presidents—Charles MacKenzie and Michael Scanlan,” he relates the successful defense of Christian heritage at two universities, by Catholic and Protestant presidents, amidst a radical onslaught.

Herbert London, in “The Swiss Handshake and Muslim Disapproval,” asserts the necessity of Western nations to defend Western culture when confronted by Muslim immigrants who are imposing Sharia law within Western countries; in “Considering the Real Russia Under Putin’s Authority,” he reveals Vladimir Putin’s real character through a detailing of his brutal deeds; in “The Indefensible Obama Policies,” he reviews the many failings of President Obama’s foreign policy; in “The End of Liberal Internationalism: Reductive Materialism and the Will to Power,” he depicts the emerging economic chaos of Europe and the greater assertiveness of China and Russia as post-W.W. II arrangements are disintegrating.

Thomas Drake, a long-time subscriber of The St. Croix Review, in “Why I Am Supporting Donald Trump,” explains his reasoning.

Jigs Gardner, in the concluding half of “Varieties of Religious Experience,” describes the people of faith he encountered in the “Backlands” of Cape Breton.

Jigs Gardner, in “The Forgotten President,” presents the biography of Warren G. Harding by Francis Russell, who reveals a good but flawed person betrayed by officials in his administration.

Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:45

December Poems 2016

1.

This winter I’m seeing the naked trees

And remembering I will be sixty

Years old in November but I’m lucky

Because I don’t feel my age and because

 

Of my exercise I’m as spry as a

Teenager but I have wrinkles about

My eyes and I have memories also

And as I’m driving and seeing the bare

 

Branches of the trees overhanging the

Street I remember the cathedrals in

England I saw when I was a student

And realize that the stone tracery

 

In those churches are meant to represent

The graceful lines of trees in the winter.

 

I’m sometimes

surprised by

eyesight

memory

and insight.

 

 

2.

Nothing is like an onrushing cold for

Grabbing attention as I felt it in

My throat in my voice when I tried to speak

Especially in my nose which began

 

To run and mostly in my noggin which

Became seasick and then there were the times

When I rose from bed once the congestion

Had taken hold and my back and shoulders

 

Felt sore my head throbbed as I went to the

Rest room but there is a lighter side to

Getting sick as it took me out of my

Daily routine separating me from

 

The hamster wheel of doing the same things

Day after day exertion without thought.

 

Recovery’s not

quite like returning from a

vacation but it

is a rediscovery

of marvelous energy.

3.

A word carries a meaning and a string

Of words make a sentence carrying a

More composed meaning making a point that

May be worth remembering and saying

 

Hippopotamus makes me wonder why

This pell-mell collection of syllables

Is stuck to that creature because the word

Hippopotamus can’t be said primly

 

Or lackadaisily without losing

Dignity and if you’re serious when

You say hippopotamus you have to

Use a neutral inflection and also

 

The cadence should be a bit quicker than

An ordinary word — so be careful.

 

Usually I

don’t have to enunciate

hippopotamus

or also rhinoceros —

But when I do I’m ready.

 

4.

Imagine a crystal glass of water

Holding the glass and seeing the water

Lifting swallowing and following it

In your mouth throat and chest and isn’t the

 

Cool water transparent and isn’t it

The taste of no taste but doesn’t it taste

Like nourishment like the essence of health

And while attending to the water it’s

 

Easy to take a breath to draw the air

In your nostrils feel it in your throat and

Enjoy the swelling of the chest and the

Dissipation of the breath through your nose —

 

The simple rhythms of life resemble

The wind in the leaves the waves on the sand.

 

I need to know words

because I need a worthy

direction but then

I want to go further and

live in the place of no words.

 

5.

I’m grateful for the asphalt because if

My driveway were gravel I’d be blowing

It away bit by bit and I’m happy

To have my sturdy snow blower because

 

No matter how prodigious the dump it

Plods along spewing the snow to the side

And I can swivel the direction of

The spray by turning a handle because

 

I don’t want to blow into a fierce wind

Because my face would get crusted with the

Snow and as long as the temperature

Stays well below freezing I’ll be OK

 

Because if the air is around freezing

The snow blower clogs and then I shovel.

 

It’s not much fun

thrusting away with

a loaded shovel

with snow sticking

to the metal.

 

6.

When the wind blows through the bare branches of

The trees on a morning in December

When there’s a chill rising from the snow on

The ground when the sky’s predominately

 

Cloudy with scattered stretches of blue there’s

A bleakness about the moment as the

Trees epitomize the absence of the

Sun as in stark nakedness they’re swaying

 

In a fierce wind that’s not leavened with the

Soothing sound of the leaves and yet there’s a

Warmth in my heart and a kind of austere

Beauty about this day that reminds me the

 

Sun’s not really absent life endures and

I discover fortitude in winter.

 

Suddenly there’s a

Pileated woodpecker

on the cottonwood

Striking the tree with its beak —

its scarlet head is lovely.

Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:43

A Tribute to Terry J. Kohler

A Tribute to Terry J. Kohler

Editor’s Note: Terry Kohler has been a long-time supporter of conservative causes, and a generous donor to the St. Croix Review, for many years.

Terry J. Kohler, 82, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, passed away Tuesday afternoon, September 20, 2016, at his residence.

Born May 14, 1934, in Sheboygan, Terry Kohler was the only son of the late former Governor Walter J. Kohler, Jr. and Marie Celeste McVoy Kohler. In 1952, Terry graduated high school from the Admiral Farragut Academy. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1959 where he earned his pilot’s wings and flew T-33 fighter jets and also B-47 bombers with the Strategic Air Command, including missions over Russia. Kohler achieved the rank of Captain.

In 1962, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in industrial management. A year later, he earned an MBA in the same field from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

On January 2, 1981, Kohler was united in marriage to Mary Stewart Simpson at St. Boniface Church in Mequon, Wisconsin. Together, they were active members of Grace Episcopal Church in Sheboygan.

Kohler started working in the family business, The Vollrath Company, in 1963. In 1976, he became the seventh President of the company. He became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1982, and under his leadership the company expanded dramatically. In July 1984, Kohler purchased North Sails, a leading global manufacturer of racing and cruising sails, from its founder, Lowell North. In January 1989, North Sails and The Vollrath Company became separate corporations under Windway Capital Corp., a holding company. Kohler was President and Chairman of the Board of Windway Capital Corp., Chairman of The Vollrath Company, and past Chairman of North Technology Group.

Kohler loved the outdoors and was a sports enthusiast, racing sports cars in the mid 1960s, and spending six years on the National Ski Patrol. Kohler was a life member and supporter of Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, the National Rifle Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, and the International Crane Foundation. Kohler and his wife Mary were instrumental in the ultra-light led Whooping Crane Recovery Project between Wisconsin and Florida. In 2009, they were awarded the Charles Lindbergh Award, which is given annually to individuals whose work over many years has made significant contributions toward Lindbergh's concept of balancing technology and nature.

Following his service in the U.S. Air Force, Kohler continued his love of flying by owning and piloting many types of aircraft, including helicopters. He was also a founding member of the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin. Kohler and his wife Mary have been advocates for strong families and started several organizations including Great Marriages for Sheboygan County.

Kohler was passionate about conservative politics, and was Wisconsin’s GOP candidate for Governor in 1982, and a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1980. He and Mary helped craft the “Contract with America” with Newt Gingrich and other Congressional Republicans.

Kohler was a man known to many — sailors, aviators, entrepreneurs, leaders of industry, politics and economics. Traveling in these circles of influence he was able to recognize and follow God’s plan for him. “My purpose is to share my wealth by taking an economic role in helping others less fortunate or in need,” Kohler once said.

Kohler is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary Stewart Kohler; his children, Leslie Kohler, Michelle Kohler, Danielle (Bob Buckley) Kohler, Charlie (Anne) Ferrell, Doug (Mindy) Ferrell, Chris (Isolde) Ferrell and Joseph (Kari) Simpson; 13 grandchildren, Hilary (Nathan Imfeld) Hawley, Winter Kohler, Torri (Charlie Bowe) Hawley, Kashon Kohler, Lilly Kohler, David Kohler, Laura (Grant) Riedesel, Cack (Doug) Wilhelm, Jack Ferrell, Peter Ferrell, Alan Ferrell, Mary Ferrell, and Grace Ferrell; four great grandchildren, Walter Jacob Kohler Imfeld, Freddy Riedesel, William Riedesel and Tobias Ferrell; cousins, other relatives, and many friends around the world. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Charlotte Nicolette “Niki” Kohler.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at Grace Episcopal Church, 7th & Ontario Avenue. The Rev. Fr. Karl C. Schaffenburg, Rector, officiated.

A memorial fund has been established in his name for the Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan SEAS and Nashotah House Theological Seminary.

“I try to live my life faithfully, quietly doing the job the Lord assigned me. I am not worried or afraid of dying because I am just an instrument. I will be here until my work for HIM is finished.” — Terry J. Kohler

I am standing by the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There, she’s gone!” Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spans as when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to their place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There, she’s gone!” there are other eyes that are watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “There she comes!” — and that is dying.     *

Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:10

Thank You, Donald Trump

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

Thank You, Donald Trump

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The Left derives energy and force through accusation. The Left advances their agenda not by winning rational debates but by delegitimizing and dehumanizing people who oppose them. The Left intimidates and silences people.

The Republican Party is the original party of civil rights as it began with Abraham Lincoln’s compassion for the plight of the slaves. If you want a sampling of heartlessness, look at the lengths the Democrats went to justify slavery prior to the Civil War — they resemble heartless Democrats who justify partial birth abortion today.  

There is no reason for Republicans to be lectured to about race. When protestors from Black Lives Matter agitate for the killing of Police Officers they should be denounced by leading Republicans, but usually, elected Republicans keep quiet because they are afraid of being called racist.

The Left wins through force of will and ruthlessness: they will jettison any professed principle, turnabout, and vilify their opponents when they see an advantage to be gained.

If the Republican Party had confronted the Left, had sufficient courage to fight back, perhaps the steady erosion of American liberty could have been mitigated.

One of the most frustrating periods of recent history was the second Bush Administration when the Democrats disowned the support they gave to the invasion of Iraq when it became advantageous to accuse George Bush of “lying” the country into war. Democrats claimed President Bush lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. George Bush and Karl Rove didn’t defend themselves, and thereby they abandoned everyone who supported them.

It’s one thing to make a mistake — in hindsight it appears we might have been better off not invading Iraq — but to allow the idea to take root among large numbers of the American people that Republican leaders purposefully lied about the reasons for going to war was an egregious dereliction.

It’s important not to minimize the power of the Left: Leftists are able to muster an army of propagandists from cultural battlements. Leftists are organized and in a day a multitude of Hollywood know-nothings, Democrat politicians, and media “wise” people will be chattering from the same song sheet. The current accusative narrative is that “fake news” and “Russian hacks” swung the election to Donald Trump — nonsense.

We cannot expect the Left to give up the will to power, and the power of accusative narrative. We will always need to oppose the Left with sufficient energy and courage.

Donald Trump has done America a great service. He has shown everyone how to fight back. The Left could not silence or intimate him. Ted Cruz might be his equal in courage, but could Cruz have gathered the widespread support Trump did?

We can measure the success of the Left and the pusillanimity of the Republican establishment on the issue of immigration. Democrats spin tales of Republican heartlessness and Republicans abandon the need for managed assimilation in a rush to please big donors.

We can measure the success of decades of Democrat narratives in how Republicans poll. Republicans have been on the defensive for too long, and they have adopted too much of the Democrat’s message. Too many elected Republicans believe it’s necessary to craft separate appeals to different segments of the American population — at the expense of neglecting core principles, such as the free market, free expression, property rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers, etc.

It is necessary for Republicans to consider how different segments of the American people are suffering — such as the working class who are losing ground, and the middle class who can’t pay healthcare premiums — but Republicans need to rely on Republican principles — such as free enterprise, freedom from excessive regulation — in crafting solutions to problems.

Who can argue against prosperity? The Democrats. They create accusatory narratives about inequality and climate change. Republicans need to remember their principles and promote prosperity for everyone — it’s a winning issue.

Leftists have painted themselves into a corner; they are becoming more and more obviously perverse. Their narratives are noxious arguments disparaging and despising America. It is against human nature to persuade people to despise themselves.

Donald Trump has seized on the vulnerability of the Leftist message: Americans want to take pride in America. Let’s hope Republican politicians learn from his example.     *  

Sunday, 22 January 2017 13:24

Summary for December 2016

The following is a summary of the December/January 2016/17 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “Thank You, Donald Trump,” writes about why we should be grateful.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Why Did Fidel Castro, a Brutal Dictator, Attract So Much Western Support?” presents the reality behind the myth; in “By Opposing Charter Schools, the NAACP Would Harm the Black Students Whose Interest It Claims to Support,” he shows how progressive organizations are opposing the hopes of black parents for their children’s education; in “The Latest Target of Political Correctness on Campus: America’s ‘Melting Pot’ Tradition,” he explains how “America dreamed a bigger dream than any other nation in history. . .”; in “‘Cultural Appropriating’: A Growing Political Correctness Tactic to Silence Free Expression,” he answers a progressive assertion — that white artists shouldn’t expropriate the insights of people of color.

Paul Kengor, in “Death by Fidel,” reveals the maniacal role Fidel Castro played during the Cuba Missile Crisis — he sought martyrdom for Marxism; in “Hillary’s Faith: In God and Roe She Trusts,” he looks at how Hillary Clinton, and countless progressives, reconcile support for unlimited abortion with Christian faith; in “How Mother Teresa Challenged Hillary Clinton on Abortion,” he reveals a long and involved relationship between the two women that serves to highlight their differing views.

Mark W. Hendrickson, in “What Is Gold Saying About Trump?” shows how the falling price of gold signals cautious optimism in the presidency of Donald Trump; in “Thoughts on the Passing of Three Sports Legends,” he considers the impact Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, and Gordie Howe had on America; in “Trading Votes Across State Lines Is Another Assault on Our Constitutional Order,” he reveals a scheme whereby people in different states collude to undermine the integrity of elections; in “Early Missteps in Attempts to Reconcile Blacks and Police,” presents a comprehensive view of last summer’s racial strife; in “Ten Things You Won’t See the Mainstream Media Talk About in the Last 100 Days of Obama’s Presidency,” he sums up the presidency of Barack Obama.

Herbert London, in “Leadership and National Unity,” looks to American history for instances when unlikely leaders rose to guide America in the right direction in the midst of chaos; in “The New World Order,” he considers Russia’s and Iran’s ascendency in the Middle East, and America’s diminishment; in “Michelle Obama and Political Correctness,” he compares Donald Trump’s indiscretions with the language used by rap “artists” invited to the White House.        

Robert E. Russell Jr., in “Remembering the Missile Crisis and the Recognition of Civil Rights,” takes the occasion of Fidel Castro’s death to recall pivotal days in America’s history.

Timothy Goeglein, in “Citizenship, Faith, and Patriotism,” tells the story of Norman Prince, one of the founders of the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of volunteer American flyers in France during W.W. I — the squadron eventually became the U.S. Air Force.

Jigs Gardner, in “Varieties of Religious Experience,” describes the people of faith he encountered in the “Backlands” of Cape Breton.

Jigs Gardner, in “Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural,” writes about the difficulty and consummate skill required of a writer to make a reader feel fear.

In “A Tribute to Terry J. Kohler,” The St. Croix Review marks the passing of a steadfast enthusiast of conservative causes.

Friday, 04 November 2016 15:06

October Poems 2016

1.

While waiting for a train in Amsterdam

While traveling as an American

And sensing the depth of history and

Culture of Europe while reading Shakespeare’s

 

Sonnets I was filled with admiration

Because I loved the way he weighed the words

Within a line for resonation and

How the meaning flowed and turned and how the

 

Florid language presented the world with

The lens of Elizabethan England

And so I acquired a direction

But admiration and ability

 

Are different and I required years

To distill a healthy emulation.

 

But I must comment

on the crazy rhyming scheme

of Shakespeare’s sonnets —

I don’t see the need to do

a Houdini trick with words.

 

2.

If I were discovering my body

As I was growing I’d jump onto the

Top of the Refrigerator too and

Just for fun I might push the boxes of

 

Cereal off to watch them fall and hear

Them plop on the floor and thus to measure

Distance and then I’d gallop joyously

Around the rooms just because I could and

 

I’d strut out on the narrow ledge and knock

The knick-knacks down one-by-one just to see

Them go and I’d be curious about

The human and the funny noises and

 

The motions she’s making with her arms and

I’d flop on my back and ask to be rubbed.

 

It’s necessary

to be emphatic to be

noisy and grandma

isn’t enough to impose

her will on the new kitten.

 

 3.

Ben Hur 1887 - 1916

 

It’s a day of celebration drawing a

A good crowd to the river and the dock

For a ride on the steamboat Ben Hur and

Perhaps as a part of the festivities

 

The photo captures the moment and so

I may see everyone facing me on

The three levels a hundred years ago

And each is distinguishable in the

 

Differences in age in attitude

In fashion in status revealing in

A relaxed and happy presentation

Engagement and eagerness for the day —

 

So I gaze with curiosity at

An alluring familiarity.

 

The postures and the

features of the faces in

the vanished moment

present a wide array of

living personality.

 

4.

Clearing the River

 

Each detail is rough hewn in the photo

Of 1886 from the boards of

The flat bottom boat to the steam engine

And the brimmed hats and the tough working clothes

 

Of the several lumber jacks with their beards

And mustaches because there’s no use for

Delicacy as the river is clogged

With logs in a tangled pile twenty feet

 

High and the scrawny men in their resting

Postures seem unequal to the task but

It was their business with steel hooked pikes and

Thick cords of rope to clear the river and

 

Raft the logs downstream as they must have known

How to take advantage of leverage.

 

Their faces are blurred

but the chosen postures

do communicate

hints of personality —

irreverence and bravado.

 

 5.

Once the apex of summer is past the

Intensity of the sun lessens and

The light becomes golden gilding the leaves

Of the trees and the grass and the air is

 

A medley of cool and warm and in the

Late afternoon though the sun may burn with

Summer fierceness it doesn’t last long and

As the sun sets earlier a chill comes

 

With the night — and it’s so much easier

To sleep under covers with the windows

Open with a chorus of crickets in

A breeze and instead of tossing in bed

 

In a muggy atmosphere late summer

Is the absolute best time for dreaming.

 

A clear sky comes in

every season but the earth’s

responses depend

on its cooperative

revolution with the sun.

 

6.

Not only the plunge in temperature

And having to scrape a frosting from my

Windshield with the dawn for the first time but

Also the prominence of red orange

 

And yellow leaves on the trees I pass the

Swirls of leaves in gusts of wind I see as

I’m driving on the streets and a morning

Sun noticeably lacking the fire of

 

Summer all point to the necessity

Of taking cover and bundling up

For a coming winter again as the

Wheel of the seasons is turning again —

 

The trees emulate the flowers and bloom

And then they stand twiggy in the winter.

 

It’s ironic how

the autumn leaves resemble

holiday colors

before dissipation and

I do want to celebrate.

Friday, 04 November 2016 14:03

Editorial

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

Clinton Cash and Washington Corruption

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

Clinton Cash, the Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by Peter Schweizer. HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007, ISBN 978-0-06-236929-1, pp. 243.

Politics has evolved into an elevated art of deception in America: the truth is often beyond the reach of law-abiding Americans, as the doings of the insiders in Washington, D.C., are concealed by layers of complexity.

The bureaucracies create rules and act politically, free from effective Congressional oversight. Even when the bureaucrats are caught in the act of abusing power, there is little Congress can do to control them.

The IRS was caught abusing Tea Party groups, preventing the Tea Party from organizing before the 2012 Presidential election. There were years of Congressional hearings to no effect. Lois Lerner was identified as one of the corrupt officials — she refused to testify before Congress, and was allowed to retire with her bonuses and benefits, without being justifiably prosecuted.

The complete story of the abuse of the Tea Party may never be discovered because the bureaucracy was impenetrable, the Democrats provided cover, the Justice Department wouldn’t investigate, and the media didn’t report the story. Consequently the American people are uninformed of how the IRS was politicized.

The media are mostly in sympathy with big government ideology and serve as effective partners in American politics by ignoring some stories and by promoting narratives in the service of big-government activism.

Through the years the media have become well trained by the left. Like a game of fetch between a spaniel and its owner, when a Democrat creates a talking point and tosses it onto the field of play, reporters exuberantly romp away fetching the narrative and bringing it back for another toss. This is a game of misdirection between the media and Democrats: it keeps the American people focused and agitated on certain issues and directs attention away from other issues.

Within days of the shootings of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the news narrative was shifted away from the admitted motives of the shooter, his expressed allegiance to ISIS and Islam’s well-established antipathy towards homosexuals, and onto his choice of weapon — the narrative became about the need for more gun control laws.

After the first Presidential debate the media was cued by Clinton’s closing remarks that Trump had verbally abused former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, and the media dutifully launched the takeaway narrative: Trump’s sexism is over-the-line.

Of course the narrative diverts public attention from Hillary Clinton’s scandalous behavior and her brutal complicity in her husband’s serial abuse of women.  

Americans who care about the goodness of America should take heart. We have people, like Peter Schweizer, who are dogged researchers, who use public records and financial statements to ferret out the truth about Washington insiders and corrupt government.

In his book, Clinton Cash, the Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Peter Schweizer has revealed the Clinton’s lust for power and greed.

Schweizer writes:

"Any serious journalist or investigator will tell you that proving corruption by a political figure is extremely difficult. Short of someone involved coming forward to give sworn testimony, we don’t know what might or might not have been said in private conversations, the exact nature of a transaction or why people in power make the decisions they do."

 

Schweizer writes it’s been a “Washington parlor game” among insiders to speculate about the Clintons:

". . . either the Clintons are utterly shameless, cynically assuming they will survive whatever scandal comes their way, or they are so convinced of their own virtue and benevolence that they are able to excuse whatever they have to do in pursuit of their noble ends, no matter how low or unethical."

 

". . . who else in American politics would be so audacious as to have one spouse accept money from foreign governments and businesses while the other charted American foreign policy? Or would permit one spouse to conduct sensitive negotiations with foreign entities while in some instances the other collected large speaking fees from some of those same entities?"

 

Before she was appointed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton signed a memorandum of understanding with the Obama administration.

". . . the Clintons agreed to submit all future paid speeches to the State Department ethics office for review. They also committed to disclose publicly on an annual basis the names of any major donors to the Clinton Foundation and its initiatives. Finally, the Clintons said they would seek preapproval from the Obama administration on direct contributions to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments or governmental owned businesses."

 

". . . the claimed commitment to transparency was fleeting. The Clintons violated it almost immediately. As we will see, the Clinton Foundation failed to disclose gifts amounting to millions of dollars from foreign entities and businessmen who needed Hillary’s help as secretary of state to approve a transaction with serious national security implications. The Clinton Foundation also collected money from foreign government-owned businesses without getting prior Obama administration approval."

 

". . . How did the Clintons amass so much wealth in such a short period of time? The answer makes for fascinating reading."

". . . the Clintons have operated at the fringes of the developed world, often appearing to assist in facilitating huge resource-extraction deals that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The era of globalization has opened up a Wild West bonanza where profits can be made on a scale not seen since the height of nineteenth-century colonialism. The Clintons’ most lucrative transactions originate not in places like Germany or Great Britain, where business and politics are kept separate by stringent ethical rules and procedures, but in despotic areas of the developing world where the rules are very different. Money also comes from foreign businessmen in Europe or Canada who have amassed their wealth in parts of the world where corruption and payoffs are simply a part of doing business."

 

How much money have the Clintons made? Schweizer writes:

"The Clinton’s confirmed income between 2001 and 2012 was a least $136.5 million according to the Washington Post. . . . According to financial disclosures, since leaving the White House, Bill has been paid an annual average of over $8 million for giving speeches around the world. The fees he collects are enormous and unprecedented, sometimes as much as $500,000 or even $750,000 per speech."

 

Which countries courted the Clintons and what did they want?

"The issues seemingly connected to these large transfers are arresting in their sweep and seriousness: the Russian government’s acquisition of American uranium assets; access to vital U.S. nuclear technology; matters related to Middle East policy; the approval of controversial energy projects; the overseas allocation of billions in taxpayer funds; and U.S. human rights policy, to name a few"

 

". . . tens of millions of dollars had flowed to the Clinton Foundation from the foreign governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from dozens of foreign financiers."

 

Peter Schwiezer’s book is full of details about foreign financiers who created shell companies for the transversal of money and for the concealment of the sources of money. Schwiezer describes dozens of nefarious characters with whom the Clintons have dealt — some were charged and convicted of crimes, others remain high officials in adversarial nations, such as Russia, and others are African warlords accused of war crimes.

Apart from well-informed experts, Americans don’t knows with whom the Clintons have dealt with — and the American news media isn’t going to report the story with the emphasis it needs.

The Clintons’ operation is like a game of pick-up-sticks: it’s an intimidating pile of interconnected dealings too complex to untangle — except for the most determined truth-seekers like Schwiezer and his team of researchers.

This brief essay provides an overview and Clinton Cash conveys the details. As Schweizer writes, the Clintons are clever lawyers who know how evade the law, but the revealed pattern of behavior is damning.

Americans should take heart, because as long as Americans like Peter Schweizer are able to expose brazen behavior by people who believe they are above the law, law-abiding Americans will have a chance to become informed. There may come a time when such information is pivotal.

Schweizer focuses on the Clintons but he also exposes the government that allows corruption. Hillary and Bill Clinton were selling Hillary’s ability to influence laws while she was a senator, and her ability to implement policy while she was Secretary of State.

How could Americans who are busy with their lives have any idea what the Clintons were doing?

But the same cannot be said of Hillary’s colleagues: her fellow senators, fellow Democrats, fellow bureaucrats, and the journalists in Washington, D.C. The Washington insiders may not have known details, but, surely, they have a much better understanding of the Clintons than law abiding Americans do — and they have chosen to look the other way.     *

Friday, 04 November 2016 13:59

Summary for October

The following is a summary of the October/November 2016 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in Clinton Cash and Washington Corruption,” provides an overview of Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, the Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

Paul Kengor, in “Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky and . . . Lucifer? What Was Ben Carson Talking About?” reveals Hillary Clinton’s admiring association with the left’s premier community organizer; in “When the Left Liked Conscientious Objection,” he cites the example of Daniel Berrigan — a Jesuit priest who burned draft cards during the Vietnam war, and who also protested abortion — with the left’s present-day intolerance.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “The 2016 Election Campaign Shows the Dramatic Decline in American Politics,” puts America’s republican form of government in historical context, showing its preciousness and fragility; in “Growth of Executive Power Has Exploded Under President Obama — Altering Our System of Checks and Balances,” he cites the executive actions, new regulations, and war powers of Presidents Barrack Obama and George W. Bush; in “Looking at Race Relations Beyond the Overheated Rhetoric in the Political Arena,” he cites statistics showing undeniable progress for blacks in America and he points to persistent problems: family breakdown and high crime; in “Kaepernick’s Protest: A Look Back at the Patriotism of Black Americans in Difficult Times,” he points out the black Americans choose to stay in America because they learned better than anyone else the value of freedom.

In “Justice Clarence Thomas: The Duty of Citizenship,” Timothy Goeglein describes a commencement speech given by Justice Thomas reminding students that liberty requires virtue.

Mark W. Hendrickson, in “The Fed Seeks to Postpone a Federal Government Default,” speculates on what a repudiation of the national debt by young Americans might look like; in “The Great Ty Cobb,” he reviews a biography on an unjustly besmirched baseball player who is among the greatest ever; in “The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan Repeats Leftwing Propaganda about Capitalism,” he details how the American free market system has been hijacked by government intervention during the last two presidencies, and laments that writers for The Wall Street Journal have forgotten how to promote free enterprise.

Herbert London, in “On-going Middle East Scenarios,” he exposes Russia’s strengthening influence with the government of Turkey, endangering a component of U.S. nuclear deterrent; in “Obama’s No First Use Proposal,” he asserts President Obama is foolishly undermining the protocols of nuclear deterrence that have prevented the use of nuclear weapons since W.W. II.  

In “Birth of Compassion,” Paul Suszko tells a story about his encounter with Emily.

In “Where Are We Heading?” Al Shane sees how our governance has been moving leftward for more than 30 years, and he stresses the importance of the free economy.

Robert L. Wichterman, in “Memories of the Fun Years in Small Town America,” shares childhood memories of living in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, during the Depression and W.W. II.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Work,” describes his first working experience during high school that helped to make him the person he is today.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 61: A Man of the West,” presents Bernard De Voto (1897-1955) as a fabulous writer of three historical volumes describing the evolving America character from the time of exploration to settlement of the continent.

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